Teaching music at small schools affords unique opportunities and benefits, while also presenting specific challenges. NAfME’s Small Schools Initiative was started by Tom Muller, Immediate Past President of NAfME’s Northwest Division. Muller was the first chair of the Small Schools Initiative Task Force, and is now followed by Rich Tengowski, President of NAfME’s North Central Division, at the request of NAfME President Scott Sheehan. Starting its work in February 2023, the Task Force identifies key issues and effective strategies for networking, community building, professional learning, advocacy, and resource development to support music educators in small schools throughout the United States, primarily but not exclusively serving in rural contexts. The Task Force meets regularly to discuss priority issues and plan outreach and support for small school music educators including through surveys, research, articles, resources, town halls and other types of professional learning.

Every state in the United States has a large number of small schools and not just in rural areas. If you work in a small school, you may see some of your successes and challenges reflected in the experiences shared by fellow members who share their stories in an upcoming Teaching Music article this August. (A followup article will be featured in the October 2023 issue focusing on advice that experienced small-school teachers have for new teachers.)

“In a small school, there are endless opportunities for thinking outside of the box, creative problem-solving, and teamwork.”—August 2023 Teaching Music

NAfME Town Hall: Elevating the Small-School Music Education Experience

August 2023 Teaching Music Magazine Feature Article

Visit this main page for updates on the NAfME Small Schools initiative and to learn more about the Task Force members.

April 2024 Teaching Music

Published Date

July 27, 2023


  • NAfME News


July 27, 2023. © National Association for Music Education (NAfME.org)

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